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Western Forest Products wants to work with Whistler and the 2010 Olympic bid group in the Callaghan Valley. "They very much want to co-operate and work with us," Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly said following an April 23 meeting with the forestry company. Western Forest Products has cutting rights in the Callaghan and has 39 cutblocks planned for the valley in the next five years. Some of those cutblocks are near the site proposed for the nordic events for the 2010 Games. But until recently Western Forest Products and the Forest Ministry had not even discussed plans for the Callaghan with people involved in the Olympic bid. "They recognize this is an important opportunity for them and for us," O’Reilly said. "They very much want to be an ally." Western Forest Products and representatives of the municipality will tour the valley this month so that each is clear about their goals. O’Reilly said he didn’t know exactly what was proposed for logging this year, but that will be determined on the tour. "We agreed we’re not there to say ‘no’ to logging," O’Reilly added. The provincial government, as signatory on the official documents, is leading the Vancouver-Whistler bid for the 2010 Winter Games. But the province has been occupied by other matters in recent months. Tourism Minister Ian Waddell did not know about logging plans in the Callaghan until a visit to Whistler last month. At that time he said the province must act to preserve the proposed nordic area from logging. O’Reilly said logging and First Nations issues in the Callaghan, and elsewhere, are issues the province must ultimately deal with, "but sitting down face to face (with Western Forest Products representatives) will go a long way." The Lil’wat Nation has claimed the Callaghan as part of its ancestral territory.

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